I went down to Wrigley Field with a couple of Cubs fans yesterday, and I thought I'd share my day with you, dear Camden Chatters.
First of all, game time was 1:20 CT, so 2:20 here in civilization. I live on the very brink of civilization in Saint Joseph, Mich., and friend #1 is in Michigan City, Ind. Friend #2 is in Valparaiso, Ind.
We also had to pick up the tickets in Sutton's Crossing in Hoffman Estates, Ill., which is the damnedest place, and a fair ways past Chicago. So here was the trip:
Traffic was awful.
Anyway, this Sutton's Crossing place. It's 120 acres of land within Hoffman Estates that is going to be some sort of big shopping center or some such. It's like a modern day version of a mining town, as if someone found silver there and now everyone is storming in to put up a business.
The traffic and the fact that we got rolling a bit later than we should have meant we missed most of the first three innings, so we saw exactly zero of the Cubs three runs. We had seats up in aisle 523, which are upper deck reserved and not bad seats at all. It's behind home plate at a slight angle, up under the broadcast booths.
What did I actually get to see? I saw Jay Bruce's homer, and then the ball that Joey Votto sent out onto Sheffield, which was then impressively chucked back from the street into the middle of the outfield. Nice arm, buddy.
I also got to see Paul Bako flail away, which was a hoot to experience live. Kerry Wood overpowered Patterson, Bako and Javier Valentin to get the save in a 3-2 Cubs win. There was no real drama, because those three weren't going to do any damned thing. My favorite part of the game was probably when the baby behind us took a wicked dump in the ninth inning and its mother did not think this was a foul enough stench to, like, get the baby away from everyone else.
We got out of our right-by-Wrigley $40 parking and then went over to Seminary and School (two streets, in fact) to park and walk around and find something to eat. We decided on the very not-busy Ian's Pizza by the Slice. We were warmly greeted and asked if we'd ever been there before, as if there was some great mystery to figure out. I'm a very polite person and realize most people don't really get humor, so I didn't say anything smart-assed. But, like, it's a pizza joint called Ian's Pizza by the Slice. Let me guess -- I order pizza by the slice?
I got a BBQ chicken and pineapple and a pepperoni/mushroom slice, and with a couple of Cherry Cokes it came to $10, which isn't bad at all. Pizza was good, but not great. Then we got to hear the workers talk jive to the other customers that came in after, such as Michael Jordan's visit on their grand opening day (this is a non-descript place in Wrigleyville, not something you'd much notice) and the fact that it was "the best pizza in the f---in' world." I'm not even sure it was the best pizza on that block.
All in all, a quality trip into Chicago, one of my very favorite cities. Those Cubs fans this year are a whole different breed. They're rocking the attitude that they're going to win.
The seventh inning stretch featured Dan Plesac, so I sort of felt shortchanged there.
So that was my O's off-day. How was yours?